Soundtracks The Greatest Film Scores of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
197.1k votes 19.3k voters 491.3k views 1,224 items

List Rules "Film score" refers to the instrumental background music that plays throughout the movie, not the soundtrack

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This list contains greatest movie themes and scores ever recorded, chosen by the Ranker community. (NOTE: This list is for film SCORES, the instrumental music from movies. We also have a list of The Greatest Movie Soundtracks, designed for collections of songs taken from films.) These are the most iconic, memorable themes and collections of background music ever.

Film scores also include dialogue and special effects. This means you should rank the film scores on how important you think they were in delivering the atmosphere the film was trying to achieve?
 
list ordered by

1
5,067 2,974
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more

2
3,126 2,362
Indiana Jones and the Raiders ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan was from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It was produced by ...more

3
2,638 2,080
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Clint Eastwood, Viggo Mortensen, Mark Strong The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. The screenplay was written by Age ...more

4
2,438 1,956
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as ...more

5
2,183 1,640
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more

6
3,075 1,447
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
CraigAlarm added Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is based on the 1990 novel of the ...more

7
1,918 1,313
Rocky is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. A small-time boxer (Sylvester Stallone) gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavy-weight champion (Carl Weathers) in ...more

8
1,681 1,641
Superman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve Superman is a 1978 superhero film directed by Richard Donner. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and stars Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, ...more

9
1,732 1,273
Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
CraigAlarm added Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson Back to the Future is a 1985 American comic science fiction film. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis, written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale, produced by Steven Spielberg, and stars Michael J. Fox, ...more

10
2,400 1,266
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick The Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical epic film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more

11
1,483 907
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more

12
2,834 1,380
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

13
2,530 1,700
Inception is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph ...more

14
2,114 1,176
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more

15
2,120 923
Pirates of the Caribbean: The ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 American fantasy swashbuckler film based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney theme parks. It was directed by Gore ...more

16
2,007 938
Harry Potter and the Philosoph... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Julianne Hough Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a 2001 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. ...more

17
2,026 1,149
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ...more

18
1,642 787
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more

19
1,544 777
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more

20
1,128 998
Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British epic adventure drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the ...more

21
1,732 423
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film's story ...more

22
1,506 923
Indiana Jones and the Last Cru... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas. It is the third installment in the ...more

23
1,601 933
Titanic is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates Titanic is a 1997 American epic romantic disaster drama film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of what happened to the RMS Titanic, it stars ...more

24
1,324 654
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Kosh105 added Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite Randy Eldermann The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 and produced by Morgan Creek Pictures. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same ...more

25
979 742
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Film Scores of All Time
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more